March 22, 2023

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Ukraine's Zelensky "silent" after bombing destroyed a museum dedicated to the poet

Ukraine’s Zelensky “silent” after bombing destroyed a museum dedicated to the poet

(Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday he was speechless after Russian bombing destroyed a museum dedicated to 18th-century philosopher and poet Hryori Skovoroda.

The attack, which occurred at night in the village of Skovorodynivka in eastern Ukraine, hit the roof of the museum, setting the building on fire and injuring a 35-year-old guard. The governor of the Kharkiv region Ole Senegubov said that the most valuable items were moved earlier for safety.

“Every day of this war, the Russian army does something that makes me speechless. But the next day it does something else that makes you feel the same again,” Zelensky said in a late-night video address.

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“Targeted strikes on museums – not even terrorists would think of that. But that’s the kind of army we’re fighting,” he said.

Skovoroda, of Ukrainian Cossack origin, spent the last years of his life in the village of Ivanovka, which was later renamed in his honor – Skovorodynivka.

“This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great philosopher,” Senegubov said in a social media post. “The occupiers can destroy the museum in which Hrihori Skovoroda worked in the last years of his life and where he was buried. But they will not destroy our memory and our values.”

Moscow describes its actions as a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of what it calls Western-fueled anti-Russian nationalism. Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unjustified act of aggression. Read more

(Reporting by Lydia Kelly in Melbourne, Pavel Politiuk in Kyiv, and David Leunggren in Ottawa; Writing by Lydia Kelly and David Leunggreen; Editing by William MacLean and Matthew Lewis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.